The Effect of Environment in Spiritual Warfare
To My Fellow Catholics:
In our little wars, we fight an Enemy whose mastery of spiritual warfare far exceeds our own. One manner by which the Enemy wages war against a soul is through the exploitation of one’s environment. This can be observed on two levels: the dominion of Satan in modern culture and the utilization of the individual’s private sphere. I shall briefly elaborate upon each of these:
First, it would be a grave error to deny the supremacy of the Enemy in modern culture. With the rise of secularism, the removal of God from society, humanity has floundered as it has been lured by enticements set by the Great Deceiver. At the present, statistics show that this strategy of illusion has nearly succeeded with examples such as the overwhelming dominance of pornography on the internet. While the guerilla fighter may not be tempted by certain allures, they do have an effect upon the psyche. For example, constant exposure to impurity, be it brief glimpses as one scans the television or prolonged exposure in advertisements, one will eventually let down one’s guard as he or she becomes accustomed to the presence of evil. This is turn can lead to a lukewarm faith and acceptance of evil. I need not elaborate upon the consequences of such a state of mind.
On the other hand, the Enemy has taken great steps to utilize the personal home of the guerilla fighter. The form by which he performs can be divided into active and passive actions. By active offenses I refer to the Enemy’s attempts to attack the soul with temptations from the outside world. The most common forms of this today are through the television and computer. The second form, that is, the passive offensive, is a tactic of containment. In other words, the Enemy attempts to cause the soul to retreat into the safety of one’s home in flight from the evils of society. If the Enemy is successful in driving the soul into inaction, he will attempt to contain the soul there, lulling it into inaction, thus giving the Enemy free reign over humanity. In Matthew 5:14-15 Our Lord says: You are the light of the world; a city set on a hilltop cannot be hid, nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” If we flee to the protection of our homes and interact only with individuals we find holy, we are effectively hiding the light deigned to save mankind.